Category Archives: Music

Music Reviews from WOBC staff. Includes Best New Music and From the WOBC Vault.

An Interview With John Goldsby

As a jazz fan with a particular soft spot for bassists, I am beyond pleased to share this interview with John Goldsby. As the bassist for the WDR Big Band, John is happily busy playing with the world’s greatest jazz musicians. His great groove, inventive ideas, and masterful technique make him one of the most respected bassists on the globe (and a personal favorite of my own). I am very honored and grateful for John’s wonderful responses.

An Interview with John Goldsby:John Goldsby

Aidan Plank: Is there anything you would like the WOBC audience to know about your music?

John Goldsby: I think a connection to the jazz tradition is the most important thing that I want to convey through my music. I play all types of jazz and modern improvised music, and I like to present forward-looking styles that are rooted in the traditions of the jazz legends. I have found my path by walking in the footsteps of giants.

AP: I seem to remember that you have played at Oberlin before. Is that true? And if so, what was your impression?

JG: I think I played at Oberlin years ago with Claude Bolling, a French pianist and composer. He was doing his “Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano,” and “Suite for Guitar and Jazz Piano.” I don’t really remember much about Oberlin because the gig was at least 20 years ago!

AP: I am curious who influences your playing. What music really struck you as being significant as you were forming your own concept?

JG: I started out playing rock music, like many players of my generation. From rock, I discovered jazz fusion, like the ’70s music of Miles Davis, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report. From there, I explored ’60s jazz and then bebop. When I moved to NYC in 1980, I played mainstream, straight-ahead jazz, but then I found myself often on gigs with swing players, playing music from the ’30s and ’40s. I got into early Ellington, Basie, Jimmie Lunceford.

The thing I came to realize about all of the music that I love is that good jazz has a great groove—whether it’s Ellington from 1930, or Miles Davis from 1965. All great jazz has an underlying pulse which is compelling and joyful. There are, of course, huge technical advances in the abilities of jazz players over the years, but technique alone does not make for great music. I am inspired by the players who have a great command of rhythm, melody and drama—the ones who can really tell a story.

As for specific influences on my bass playing, I would have to say Jimmie Blanton (w/Duke Ellington), Oscar Pettiford, Red Mitchell, Paul Chambers—and countless other bass players. From a solo perspective, I’d say players like Lester Young and Sonny Rollins inspire me greatly, as do guitar players like Wes Montgomery and Jimmy Raney. Continue reading An Interview With John Goldsby

TOP 5 ADDS, 8/9

top 5 adds is a weekly section of WOBC that displays the top 5 most played new albums at the station. each album links to the band’s myspace,, or other music player so you can check them out for yourself!

1    DIVA    The Glitter End

julianna barwick and grouper ran into some witches who merge-hexed them into DIVA. haunting, breathy vocals for lazy summer existentialists to vibe with.

2    EMMY THE GREAT    Virtue

3    SHENANDOAH DAVIS    The Company We Keep

something to tide you over between joanna newsom albums; the feathery vocals immersed in fantasy are eerily reminiscent of newsom’s.

4    YOU ME AND US    Paperweights

fuzzy california garage pop; along the same lines as BRILLIANT COLORS.

5    DOM    Family Of Love

-devra freelander

TOP 5 ADDS 8/3

top 5 adds is a weekly section of WOBC that displays the top 5 most played new albums at the station. each album links to the band’s myspace,, or other music player so you can check them out for yourself!

1    THE BANDANA SPLITS    Mr. Sam Presents The Bandana Splits

saccharine doo-wop from three cute girls; sounds like a mix of camera obscura and she & him. check out: ‘sometimes’, ‘my love’, and ‘you don’t have to be a baby to cry’.

2    FALL ON YOUR SWORD    Another Earth: Music From the Motion Picture

3    RADIATION CITY    The Color of Industry (Single)

understated indie pop with vocals that sound like a sleepy feist, and harmonies straight out of bitte orca.

4    HUDSON MOHAWKE    Satin Panthers    Warp

5    ARMY NAVY    The Last Place    Self-Released

-devra freelander

An Interview with Laura Dreyer

Laura Dreyer

Like most jazz fans, I love Brazilian music. Why the marriage between jazz and Brasilian music works so well is hard to put into words. Perhaps it is the deeply moving sense of melody, or the adventurous sense of harmony, or the driving rhythmic core, or perhaps it is just the profound joy that both musics bring to this world. Regardless, in my personal collection of recordings and in my trips out to see live music, I have often sought out artists who have deep interests in jazz and Brazilian music. One such artist is Laura Dreyer.

I have had her album “Mysterious Encounter” on constant rotation in my stereo over the past few years. The album is a wonderful example of the grace of Brazilian jazz. Having played a few cuts from the album on the radio show in the past, I was very excited and hopeful to convince Laura to do an interview with me. Luckily, she agreed to do so. I am very pleased to share this wonderful and insightful interview with you here.

Aidan Plank: Is there anything you would like the WOBC audience to know about your music?

Laura Dreyer: Although I am a saxophonist, I think of myself as a composer first. I have always tried to write compositions that are melodically and rhythmically strong, with improvisation sections that are interesting and make sense harmonically. I think that is why I am attracted to Brazilian music. I have spent many years researching Brazilian musical styles and try to be as true to those styles as possible (When composing in the Brazilian jazz idiom, of course), but I also like to apply those principles to other styles of music.

AP: How would you describe your own music?

LD: Well currently, Brazilian jazz as well as jazz fusion. Again, I like strong melodies, interesting harmony, and rhythmic syncopation. Some of my music is more funky, some more traditional. I also like to interact with the band when I improvise. I think interaction is THE most important element in “Jazz.” I have deep roots in be-bop!

AP: Who influenced you as you were learning this music?

LD: As a writer, I started out being very influenced by musicians such as Bobby Hutcherson, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, Tom Harrell, Lyle Mays, Pat Metheny, and then later became so immersed in Brazilian composers like Egberto Gismonti, Dori Caymmi, Jobim, João Bosco, Gilberto Gil (The list goes on and on…).

I have also had some great saxophone teachers who influenced me a lot. I studied with Joe Henderson for a year before I moved to New York. He was a profound influence. I also studied with Joe Lovano briefly and he helped me with phrasing and rhythm. I had 2 great composition teachers, Jim McNeely, and Lyle Mays. I studied with Lyle for 5 years. He really transformed me as a composer. When I was learning jazz, I went to every jam session that would let me in the door. I went out to hear jazz almost every night of the week when I first moved to New York, and when I was in San Francisco. I think I absorbed a lot by osmosis!

Continue reading An Interview with Laura Dreyer

TOP 30 7/19

top 30 is a weekly section of the blog where we share the  30 artists/albums that received the most play on WOBC this week. click on any entry to visit the myspace,, bandcamp, or website of that artist.

1    MOONFACE Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped
2    WASHED OUT Within And Without
3    PURE X Pleasure
4    BRILLIANT COLORS Again and Again

really excited about these guys from san francisco. this is their second release out on slumberland, and it sounds like a mix of best coast  and new order, but on sleeping pills.

5    TORO Y MOI Saturday Love [Single]
6    REAL ESTATE It’s Real [Single]

yeah!!!! this sunny, viscous single from real estate fits right in on any muggy summer afternoon. isn’t it so nice when a band from your hometown is actually good??

7    BON IVER Bon Iver
8    MEMORY TAPES Player Piano
9    BEACH FOSSILS What A Pleasure [EP]
10  WOODS Sun And Shade
11  PICTUREPLANE Thee Physical

playing a show at the grog shop’s b-side liquor lounge on july 27, with oberlin cuties teengirl fantasy. want tickets? hit us up!!

12  JULIANNA BARWICK The Magic Place
13  HANDSOME FURS Sound Kapital
14  DESTROYER Kaputt
15  SAN CISCO Golden Revolver
16  GROUPER AIA: Dream Loss/Alien Observer
17  SELEBRITIES Delusions
18  ICEAGE New Brigade
19  BATTLES Gloss Drop
20  CULTS Cults
23  COM TRUISE Galactic Melt
24  CHAD VALLEY Equatorial Ultravox
25  BLACK LIPS Arabia Mountain
26  BJORK “Crystalline” [Single]
27 SONIC YOUTH The Eternal
28  NEIL YOUNG A Treasure
29  BILL CALLAHAN Apocalypse
30 GIVERS In Light

and be sure to stay tuned for an upcoming review of last sunday’s moonface show at the grog shop!! spoiler alert: it was really good.

-devra freelander

TOP 5 ADDS 7/11

Washed Out - Within and Without
washed out – within and without – just when you think you’re finally over chillwave, washed out comes out with a new album and you feel all warm and dizzy inside. don’t fight it. if ‘life of leisure’ was last summer’s jam, then ‘within and without’ is it’s snowy counterpart, glistening and melancholic, arctic and balearic. listen to ‘soft’ or ‘you and i’, and pretend you are on a train in the alps. see what i mean here?

moonface – organ music not vibraphone like i’d hoped – spencer krug (wolf parade, sunset rubdown, swan lake, etc.) returns again, with yet another weird moniker (is there a formula to these?), and if you like him, you will like him. (is that not helpful?)

pictureplane – thee physical – pulsing aerial dance beats chopped and screwed in outer space. everyone is starting to sound like shannon funchess, and pictureplane is doing the best job of it. check out ‘trancegender’ for those deep house vocals and a catchy, swelling hook.

brian eno with rick holland – drums between the bells – rick holland is a ‘thinker and a writer’, according to his blog. brian eno is an ‘ambient legend’, according to more internet.

sole & the skyrider band – hello cruel world – experimental hip-hop with appearances from lil b, xiu xiu, and pictureplane (these dudes are everywhere).
-devra freelander


TOP 5 ADDS 7/5

Pure X – Pleasure

Top 5 Adds is a weekly section of the WOBC Blog that displays the Top 5 most played new albums at the station. Each album links to the band’s myspace,, or other music player so you can check them out for yourself!

1. Pure X – Pleasure // Austin, Texas’ Pure X–though you may remember them as Pure Ecstasyfinally released their debut full-length album: the aptly named Pleasure. Regardless of their slight name change, these dudes are still making the same signature dreamy garage pop, washed out in reverberating fuzz. Check out ‘Easy’ or ‘Dream Over’ if you’re sitting on a porch and just want to exist.

2. Memory Tapes – Player Piano // The biggest difference between Player Piano and 2009’s hit Seek Magic is the prominence of Dayve Hawk’s voice; while  previously obscured behind echoed filters and glistening chillwave (back when we were still excited about it), on Player Piano you can actually… hear it. Whether or not this is a positive thing remains to be determined.

3. Com Truise – Galactic Melt // Deep, retro synthesizer vibes.

4. Bon Iver – Bon Iver // It got a 9.5 on pitchfork!! Isn’t that exciting??

5. Selebrities – Delusions // New-New Wave.

-devra freelander